When it comes to sciatic nerve pain, the largest nerve in the body, prolonged discomfort can be experienced. Due to the pain, sleeping may become difficult. So, how to sleep in a recliner with sciatica properly and comfortably that helps alleviate such strain?
A lumbar strain caused by sciatica may worsen when you lie in certain positions. However, recliner chairs can do wonders to ease your back pain. They offer you maximum back support while allowing you to sit in various positions that prevent stress on your spine.
But, while sleeping in a recliner, make sure your lumbar region is well supported and your back isn’t arched.
Furthermore, in this article, I’ll provide some important tips and recommend sleeping positions so that you can rest well while lying in a reclining chair with sciatica.
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What Is Sciatica Pain?
Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve is compressed or irritated. This condition causes sharp pain in the buttocks (hips), thighs, and lower back. It can also be accompanied by numbness and tingling, which makes it difficult to rest and sleep.
How To Sleep In A Recliner With Sciatica? Lets Dive Inside:
Finding the best sleeping position to relieve sciatica while lying in a recliner will vary from person to person. However, as a general rule, it’s good to choose a recliner that provides optimal back support without altering the natural alignment of your spine.
Also, having a power recliner is ideal for sciatica patients as it comes with a convenient remote control for easy reclining.
Adopting Proper Posture While Reclining
It’s crucial to adopt the proper posture when sleeping in a reclined position to prevent sciatica. For example, you should avoid leaning on the armrests or slouching your head forward, as both positions put pressure on your lower back and cervical spine.
According to WebMD, reclining at 135 degrees puts the slightest pressure on the spine, which ultimately relaxes the lumbar region.
Additionally, while you sleep in a reclining position with chronic pain at night, ensure you adopt a neutral spine position, meaning your head, neck, and spine should be aligned straight.
Place a pillow to prevent unsupportive gaps.
One of the most common issues with sleeping in a recliner is losing the curvature of the spine. This is because when you’re seated on a recliner, you’re not lying flat, which puts constant pressure on your hips and lower back if not correctly positioned.
Therefore, you need to pay attention to your lower body posture. To avoid and achieve proper spinal alignment, I recommend using rolled-up towels or specially designed lumbar pillows to reduce the risk of lower back pain.
Overstuffed pillows should not be placed behind your neck.
Avoid placing overstuffed pillows behind your neck whenever you sleep in a recliner with sciatica at night. Overstuffed pillows can push the head forward, leading to several neck problems after prolonged sitting. The right way to sit in a recliner with sciatica is the key to avoiding further health problems.
To be safe, if you plan to place a pillow behind your head to support your neck, you should add a very thin pillow so that your head isn’t in an incorrect position.
Recline With Elevated Knees
Sleeping in a recliner puts constant pressure on your back joints because your overall weight is on your hips and lower back.
If you are suffering from sciatic nerve pain and want to sleep comfortably on a recliner chair, elevating the footrest can help reduce your pain symptoms and reduce the likelihood of lower back pain.
This is because elevating your legs will relax your lower body and reduce pressure on your nerve root from your lower spinal disc. In addition to raising the recliner’s footrest, it also helps improve blood circulation.
Tips To Relieve Sciatica Pain While Sleeping In A Recliner Chair
Apart from the position in which you sleep in a recliner, several other factors can alleviate sciatic pain, such as the type of recliner you choose and the habitual things you do before sleeping. Below are some helpful ways:
Invest In A Quality Recliner: A quality recliner is essential for the health of your spine and sciatic nerve. Choosing a recliner that provides the proper back support and is easy to adjust is essential. This way, you can relax in the recliner and avoid putting pressure on your lower back and spine.
Moreover, power lift recliners are perfect for relieving pain by comforting and multifunctional features. They include heat and massage therapy, lift assistance, and easy-to-use remote control for simple adjustment.
Do Stretching Exercise Or Yoga Before Sleeping: Stretching exercises and yoga can help improve your posture, reduce the tightness in your muscles, and prevent sciatica from occurring. A few stretches you can perform include pelvic tilt, shoulder stretch, and hip stretch.
Take a Warm Bath Before Sleeping In Recliner: Taking a hot bath can relax your muscles and relieve tension, which can lead to better sleep. Additionally, it can also ease sciatica symptoms by reducing the pressure on your lower back and legs.
Follow good sleep hygiene: Good sleep hygiene includes avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bedtime, keeping a consistent sleep schedule, and avoiding watching television or using your smartphone before sleeping in a recliner. These can cause sleep disturbances.
What Makes Sciatic Nerve Pain Worse In Recliner?
Patients with sciatica often notice that their symptoms worsen when they are seated in a recliner. Some potential reasons for this include:
- Incorrect Posture
- Recliner with inadequate back support
- Slouching or sitting with a tilted head
- Uncomfortable footrest
- Prolonged sitting in the same position
These are some reasons why sleeping in a recliner can make sciatic nerve pain worse. Avoid such things so that you don’t suffer from lower back pain and other health conditions.
When To See A Doctor
It is strongly recommended to see a doctor if the things that I discussed, how to sleep in a recliner with sciatica, and other crucial points don’t help you. This is because your pain is prolonged or worsening. They can help you identify the root cause of the pain and provide the proper treatment to reduce your pain and prevent it from occurring again.
Sciatica is a chronic condition that affects your lower back and sciatic nerve. It is usually caused by a herniated disc, further leading to sleeping problems.
You can alleviate the pain by sleeping in a recliner with proper support. The footrest can help you to sleep comfortably and reduce pain by elevating your knees.
Remember to follow the tips and suggestions I discussed above about how to sleep in a recliner with sciatica pain to get relief from sciatica and other lower back conditions.
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